Choosing outdoor lighting
Are you laying out a new landscape or do you just want to upgrade your current landscape with lighting? This page will explain what types of outdoor lighting are available and how to choose the best for your yard. Follow this selection guide and you will know everything about outdoor lighting in no time.
What are the main reasons to purchase outdoor lighting?
Outdoor lighting has three different functions. It is functional, creates ambiance and provides a bit of extra safety.
Outdoor lighting ensures your driveway is clearly visible, that you can see the path to the front door and you can find the keyhole. On summer evenings, you can sit outside with a book or enjoy a nice glass of wine and a conversation while still being able to look your partner in the eyes. There are several possible uses of outdoor lighting which is initially designed for function, but which is also decorative (2).
Outdoor lighting ensures that while you are indoors, you can still see into the garden the whole year through. This also brings the outdoors indoors, regardless of the season. With the right styling and mood lighting, you create an extra “room” outdoors. It is obviously a shame if you have created a beautiful yard that you cannot see in darker months after coming home from a hard day's work. The right outdoor lighting allows you to enjoy your yard or deck even more and bring the outdoors in (1).
Finally, lighting makes your home and yard a bit safer. Lighting in and around the home can help prevent burglaries. Height differences in your yard can also be very treacherous at night. With outdoor lighting placed in the right locations, these problems disappear. Adequate lighting therefore creates a safer living environment (3).
Why is there special lighting for outdoors?
Weather conditions dictate different materials and constructions for outdoor lighting than for indoor lighting. Sun, rain, wind and salt affect the housing and the durability of outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting is therefore constructed from different types of materials. You can choose from aluminum, polycarbonate, polypropylene, stainless steel or a combination of these. Each material has a different look and function. There are for example several ground lights that can be driven over (handy for the driveway) and we also have special underwater lighting. Not only the housing is important, the cable connected to the lighting is too. Our cables are very durable and so flexible that they remain supple regardless of the weather conditions.
Why use LED outdoor lighting?
LED outdoor lighting is the most durable and energy efficient method of illuminating outdoor areas. There is, of course, a significant difference in the quality of LED outdoor lighting. High quality LED lighting is more expensive. The bottom of the range, however, is generally more affordable. in-lite, for example, works with manufacturers who are leaders in high-quality LED technology. This results in high-quality in-lite LED outdoor lighting and allows us to offer a 5 year warranty on the fixtures. The long product life allows you to enjoy your outdoor lighting longer, making it more affordable.
In addition to being durable, high-quality LED light sources are very energy efficient. Compared to a conventional light bulb, an LED uses up to 80% less energy and, under normal conditions, lasts 10 times longer then, for example, a halogen light bulb.
Types of outdoor lighting: 230 volts or 12 volts?
There are two types of outdoor lighting, 230 volts and 12 volts. An outdoor light only illuminates when it receives power. This can be provided in one of two ways: directly from the main power supply (230 volts) or through a transformer which converts 230 volts to 12 volts. You would choose 230-volt outdoor lighting if, for example, you want to install a light at your front door where there is already an existing lighting fixture. Using 12 volt outdoor lighting is particularly handy if you want to install lighting throughout the entire yard that is safe for both people and animals.
Due to the low voltage, the cable for 12 volt lighting only needs to be hidden under a thin layer of soil. No unnecessary digging in your yard is required. You also will not easily damage the cable when you are gardening and if this should happen, it is not a risk to your safety.
A certified electrician is required to install 230 volt lighting and the cable must be laid at least 60 centimeters underground. You can safely install your 12 volt outdoor lighting yourself, or have it done by a gardener.
The LED lighting system consists of five components: the transformer, the cable, the Easy-Lock, the fixture and the mini-connector.
The lighting is controlled by the transformer with the help of a light-sensitive sensor, and possibly a timer. The plug for the transformer is connected to a grounded outlet. The 12 volt cable is rolled out according to your cable plan. You then install the fixtures in the right locations in your yard, possibly based on your lighting plan. A mini-connector located on every fixture easily connects to the mini-connector on the Easy-Lock. The Easy-Lock can be connected to any point on the 12 volt cable. The connection provides power to the fixture so you can enjoy your beautiful outdoor lights! And, if you want, you can easily move or add more lighting at any time. Convenient, right?
Fixture types & applications
You can choose from four different categories of lighting. These include ground lights, bollards, wall lights and outdoor spotlights. You could begin with just one type, but it is very easy to combine outdoor lights from the different categories. This quickly creates a big impression.
You can integrate ground lights in paving, gravel or wood. Because they are incorporated into the surface, they are practically invisible, but at night they are even more noticeable by the special effects they create (1). You can choose from LED ground lights with a soft diffused light (for example, for your deck) or ground lights with (adjustable) accent lighting. This allows you to highlight features such as a compact bush or even a giant tree
easily. There is even lighting that you can drive over, for example, in your driveway.
Outdoor LED bollards have a prominent role in the lighting plan, but should also definitely be seen! Functionality goes hand-in-hand with ambiance. You can choose for fixtures that provide diffuse mood lighting in your borders (2). Near a path or driveway, choose fixtures that provide direct light. Focused light not only creates a nice effect, but your path or driveway is also well lit. Want to be a bit more creative? We also have bollards with an adjustable light source.
Wall lights can be used for many applications. Place a single functional fixture next to a door or place several fixtures on a fence or garden wall in the yard to create extra depth (3). You can choose soft diffused light or small spotlights to highlight details. Accessories such as the SHUTTER allow you to personally choose the direction of the light.
Outdoor lighting is the ideal choice for highlighting specific features that you want to literally and figuratively put in the spotlight. The spotlights offer different lighting angles and the light distribution of the beam also varies. Depending on the feature you want to highlight, choose an outdoor spotlight with a narrow or wide beam and short or even long light distribution. Position compact spotlights on stakes playfully between plants and choose the big boys such as BIG NERO to create a big impact for a large tree (4). Facades can also be illuminated with outdoor LED spotlights.
Online advice tool
We can imagine that you might want a little help choosing the right lighting. That is why we developed our Product Advisor. This handy tool lets you see which fixtures are the most suitable for each yard element and how to incorporate them into your lighting plan.
Choose your favorite color
Have you chosen which fixtures you want? The choice of color also determines the mood and look of the lighting in your yard. You can choose from warm silver, dark gray, Corten, white, black and stainless steel. There are also several ground lights that are transparent and therefore less obvious in the yard.
Each color creates a different effect. For example, choose white garden lighting for a sleek result. Or go for timeless with black or dark gray. Stainless steel fixtures give your yard a more robust appearance. Want an industrial look that is also modern? Then choose the super trendy Corten. There is something for everyone!
What can you light up outdoors?
You can illuminate many features in and around the home. You should not only consider the yard, but the house itself should of course also be a focal point.
Trees, shrubs & borders
Trees and plants highlighted with outdoor lighting emphasizes the form. You can make a real statement in your yard by completely illuminating an imposing tree with large spotlights or emphasize the canopy of an umbrella shaped tree. They also create depth and allow colorful plants to show off the color palette in your yard, even at night.
Path & driveway
Outdoor lighting makes life a little easier. Whether it is parallel parking or finding your way around your home. It can also make a path a bit more playful, for example, by installing a beautiful star pattern or more sleek by using angular fixtures.
Fences & walls
During the day, a fence is a relatively static feature. But by adding outdoor lighting on a fence or wall in your yard, it comes to life at night! Wall lighting is also easy to install on fences and walls. We have mounting anchors that allow you to quickly mount, for example, the BLINK to a wall or stacked feature.
Decks & overhangs
An illuminated deck or overhang allows you to enjoy the outdoors, even in the colder months (with good outdoor heaters, or course). A nice lounge area or cozy dining set makes it a real outdoor room.
Water features & ponds
Underwater lighting really completes the yard. Even at night, the beautiful underwater world comes to life and you get the most enjoyment from your pond. The pond is also more visible which provides safety, for example, with children. Want to know more about pond lighting? Read our blog about this topic.
How to install outdoor lighting?
If you want to install 230 volt lighting, you must do this yourself or hire an electrician. A gardener is not allowed to do this. Securing a 230 volt lamp to the wall yourself is not a problem, but safely laying cables in the ground at the correct depth is a whole different story. This involves extra costs for the installation of your outdoor lighting.
On the other hand, 12 volt outdoor lighting can be installed by anyone. The low voltage makes it safe to install. The simple in-lite system also makes it truly plug and play, which means you can either install the lighting yourself or leave it up to the gardener. The choice is yours!
Are you excited and cannot wait to get to going on your own or with the help of a gardener? Request the in-lite brochure and immerse yourself in all the possibilities. In the brochure you will not only find all the products, but also many theme pages with various outdoor features and uses for outdoor lighting.
Happy with the results? We'd love to see them! And while you're at it, why not check out our social media channels for the latest tips and tricks regarding installation and maintenance for outdoor lighting?
Still not completely sure? Stop by or contact a dealer in your area. You can learn how to create a lighting plan and cable plan on our blog. Want to know more about the installation of our outdoor lighting? Then go to our installation tips page. There you will find useful instructional videos. Do you have a specific question? Then be sure to have a look at the FAQ. Of course you can also contact us.